Have you ever wondered, “What am I passionate about?” Have you been struggling to figure out a career or hobby that lights your fire but just can’t find it?
As frustrating as it is to search and search and not find your passion, it undermines your efforts to delay happiness until you discover it.
Enjoying life and savoring everything you are doing along the path to your passion is a valuable part of the experience.
As you become more engaged with the life you have, you’ll expand your awareness of the life you dream of living.
As you become more grateful, positive, and curious, you’ll open doorways of enlightenment that lead you to your passion.
What I’m suggesting is more than a “relax and wait” frame of mind. It’s a “relax, envision, engage, and expect” mindset.
Do the practical steps you need to do to find your passion (take assessments, get additional training, hire a coach, read books, research, etc.), but at the same time engage in other things you find interesting and valuable.
While you’re taking these actions, actively look for clues and passion in life examples to inspire you.
You might discover that what you are most passionate about is the very thing you are doing while you search.
If you’d like to fill that restless “When will I ever find my passion” time with interesting and positive activities, take a look at our passionate examples below.
21 Things to be Passionate about in 2021
Choose from the list of things to be passionate about and begin practicing one of these activities now. They all will benefit you in some way, and we show you how to use each of them in the search for your passion in life.
1. Health and Fitness
If you’ve been feeling passionless and frustrated, you’re probably neglecting your physical well-being.
This malaise tends to happen when we’re unhappy, but actually, it’s the perfect time to reignite your commitment to health and fitness.
Find an interesting fitness routine that includes an aerobic activity. I took up rebounding because I’d read so much about the health benefits of it — and it looked so fun.
My rebounding commitment that I practiced during the cold months led to a new passion for running, which I took up when it got warmer.
Even if you have an established routine, change it up with something new. Take up a sport or activity where you can meet new people who are pursuing interesting activities.
Research new healthy recipes and start cooking them. Join an online community where you share health and fitness goals and support one another.
How this passion example helps your search: When you feel great physically, it will undoubtedly help you feel better mentally and emotionally. You’ll be in the right frame of mind to discover your passion.
As you explore new health and fitness opportunities, you may meet someone, encounter a situation, or realize something about yourself that leads to a passion, as rebounding did for me.
2. Relationship Health
When we’re preoccupied with the things that are not going right in our lives, our relationships can suffer. We might become inattentive and distant from those we love.
A negative attitude can undermine the joy and spontaneity in the relationship. Sometimes the people close to us begin to pull away because of the negative energy we’re putting out.
Your close relationships are THE most valuable part of your life. As you search for your passion, take time to focus on the health of your most important connections.
If there are problems in a relationship, take the initiative to address them and work them out. Be proactive in expressing your gratitude and feelings to your loved ones.
Think about what brings them joy, and make that happen for them. Explore new and fun activities to enjoy together. Lovingly tend to your most valued relationships as you would a prized garden.
How this passion example helps your search: The important people in your life will ultimately share in your life passion when you find it. You want and need their support, patience, and engagement.
They may have input and ideas that can give you insights about yourself and your passion. More importantly, having healthy, happy relationships is essential to your own well-being.
If your relationships are going poorly, you won’t be emotionally healthy enough to find your passion.
3. Learning New Skills
While you are seeking your passion, find something mildly engaging, and begin learning everything you can about it.
It can be a useful skill (like learning a new language, creating a website, or investing) or an enjoyable activity that involves research and learning (like bird watching, uncovering your family tree, or drawing).
Immerse yourself in whatever piques your interest, whether or not you believe it will be your passion. Become more skilled or knowledgeable, practice regularly, and take pleasure in the process of learning.
How this passion example helps your search: As you become deeply engaged in this new activity, it may very well reveal itself to be your passion or lead you to a passion.
Even if it doesn’t, it will expose you to new and exciting ideas, people, and knowledge. You’ll see that the process of engagement is a passionate activity itself. You will expand as a person, opening your mind to possibilities and insights you didn’t possess before.
4. Money Management
As you work toward finding something to be passionate about, prepare yourself financially for that passion so you can enjoy it with security.
If you are in debt, this is a perfect time to work on paying it off. Brainstorm ways to cut back on spending and to make extra income on the side.
If you need some ideas, check out the book The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by finance guru Dave Ramsey.
Consider your personal philosophy around money and spending.
- How much money do you really need to live the life you want?
- How much savings do you need for a possible job transition or time off?
- What do you need to learn about investing and growing your money?
- How are you spending money unconsciously?
How this passion example helps your search: Managing money isn’t on everyone’s list of passions. But solid financial preparation will be a huge benefit to you when you know your passion and you’re ready to pursue it.
You’ll be in a great position to make the necessary life changes that might be required to make your passion part of your life.
As you’re searching, just knowing you’re in a financially sound position reduces the fear and doubt inhibiting you from seeking your passion.
5. Simplifying Your Life
Look around you at all of the nonessential “stuff” in your life — like material possessions, clutter, demands on your time and energy, draining people, or tolerations that distract you.
Get passionate about decluttering your life and simplifying it to the most essential and valuable elements.
If you have material things you never use or that take up your time and energy with cleaning, care, and repair — sell them or give them away.
Clean out your closets, clear off your desk, clean up your inbox on your computer. If you need help, check out my book with my co-author Steve Scott called, 10-Minute Declutter: The Stress-Free Habit for Simplifying Your Home.
If you fill your time with activities or commitments you don’t enjoy or that make you feel stressed, start eliminating them.
Are there people in your life who are negative, demanding, or otherwise difficult to be around? If so, let them go or cut back on the time you spend with them.
How this passion example helps your search: More time, energy, and space frees you from distractions that pull you away from your passion search.
It also frees up room for your passion, and eliminates the doubt and worry that you might not have time to find or live your passion. By eliminating what isn’t productive, useful, or necessary, it creates room for what is.
Surprisingly, it’s when we are engaged in something else that our passion often makes itself known to us — or at least provides clues to lead us to it.
As you search for things to be passionate about, make good use of your time by becoming passionate in these activities that support your search.
6. Personal Growth
If you want to be passionate for life, the first place to begin is within yourself.
Personal growth is the intentional effort to explore yourself and notice where you need to change and improve your habits, behavior, attitudes, actions, and reactions.
You seek to find these areas that need improvement and to learn new mindsets and actions to build emotional intelligence, confidence, and character.
You can do this by taking courses and workshops, reading self-improvement books, working with a counselor or coach, and finding a mentor.
Having motivation for personal growth isn’t enough. You also must be willing to push yourself beyond your comfort zone and do things that stretch you.
Maintaining a growth mindset and the willingness to improve is key to becoming a fully actualized person who is ready and open for a passionate life.
How this passion example helps your search: Working on your personal growth is foundational to any positive change in your life. To find your life passion, you need to understand yourself, your inner roadblocks, your limiting beliefs and assumptions, and your insecurities.
By addressing these, you’ll free yourself to explore ideas and interests that you might not have previously felt confident exploring.
Also, learning to push past your comfort zone during personal growth will prepare you to explore as you seek your passion. You learn to get more comfortable with discomfort and realize the things you fear aren’t so daunting after all.
7. Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness means being attentive to what is happening right now and being present in the moment — which is the only reality we have.
And what better thing to be passionate about than the thing you are doing right now? Rather than dwelling on regrets or worries about the future, remain focused on the now — even when it’s tedious or unpleasant.
However, practicing mindfulness is harder than it sounds. In the rush of our hectic lives, we don’t take the time to appreciate the task or experience at hand.
Our thoughts tend to wander and get stuck in negative loops. It almost seems our minds control us and force us to think about everything except the present moment.
But the practice of mindfulness helps us gain control over our thoughts. We learn to tame our mental muscles, so we don’t suffer so much from worry and regret.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness, but one of the best is through mindfulness meditation. Meditation is proven to reduce stress and anxiety and lower incidents of addiction, depression, and eating disorders, among many other benefits.
Use this time of waiting to learn the power of mindfulness and meditation.
How this passion example helps your search: When you become more mindful, through meditation and other mindfulness practices, you will become more centered, calm, and focused.
You’ll also be more appreciative and grateful for all of the good things in your life rather than so intently focused on what’s missing.
Having this openness and inner equilibrium leaves you more receptive to inspiration and creativity. When your mind isn’t cluttered, you have room to explore possibilities for your life passion.
And as you explore, you’re less agitated and worried about how to find your passion or make it work in your life. Your appreciation for the present moment invites confidence that life will unfold in the best way to match your goals and desires.
Michael Gelb, the author of How to Think Like Leonardo daVinci, suggests there are seven principles (he learned from daVinci) to increase creativity. These include:
- Curiosity – Having an insatiable quest for knowledge and continuous improvement
- Thinking Independently – Learning from experience and applying that in new ways
- Sharpening Your Senses – Paying attention to all of your senses to explore the world
- Embracing Uncertainty – By getting comfortable with discomfort and managing ambiguity and change
- Balancing Logic and Imagination – Using your whole brain rather than relying on one or the other
- Balancing Body and Mind – Not focusing too much on one or the other
- Making New Connections – Finding patterns and new idea combinations from existing ones
Your job is to apply these principles in a fun way in your life, even if you don’t think of yourself as creative. To get passionate about creativity, you can find new activities that stimulate creativity (painting, drawing, writing, dancing, photography).
Or you can apply creative thinking to your current work projects, home tasks, or even your social life. How can you shake things up, make unique connections with old ideas, or do something differently?
Make it a point to get out of your rut and use creative thinking and activities to expand your horizons.
How this passion example helps your search: Most common passions require creative thinking. It’s the lack of creative thinking that may have led to your feelings of being without a passion.
The more you practice tapping into your creative brain (yes, we all have one), the more adept you’ll become at seeing new possibilities and devising unique solutions for any roadblocks you encounter.
The more you practice being creative, the more confident you’ll be in your ability to tap into it when you need it.
9. Your Current Job
You may be fretting about how to find work you love because you’re suffering in a job you don’t like. Maybe your work isn’t fulfilling or feels meaningless.
It’s hard to feel any amount of joy in your work if a big part of it causing you angst. That negative part taints your entire experience, and you begin to see your job as a big drag.
But even in these situations, you can find something you enjoy about your job — your co-workers, a particular client, your office space, or your salary.
You may find a way to make the negative parts of your job more bearable by using creative thinking and devising a new way to make your work more interesting.
Applying mindfulness to your daily work and focusing intently on the task at hand (rather than stewing about how much you hate it) can ease the pain and give you more of a sense of purpose.
As the poet, Kahlil Gibran writes in his book The Prophet, “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.”
How this passion example helps your search: Passion begins on the inside as you recognize that you can bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, even if it’s a job you aren’t crazy about.
As you learn to approach even the most unappealing tasks with joy, you’ll find that your joy expands and opens doors for new possibilities.
Others will be attracted to your positive mindset, and they will see you as a go-to person for other potential career opportunities.
10. Helping People
According to happiness researcher and author, Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book, The How of Happiness, helping other people is one of the keys to sustained happiness.
“Kindness can jump-start a whole cascade of positive social consequences,” Lyubomirsky said. “Helping others leads people to like you, to appreciate you [and] to offer gratitude.”
As you help others, you also discover abilities that you are naturally good at — and that make you feel good about yourself.
As you extend yourself, those around you realize how valuable you are and that you have more to contribute than they may have previously realized.
How this passion example helps your search: When you help and support others, you may discover a new passion when you give your time and energy to someone or something that’s important to you.
I often advise passion-seekers to volunteer in organizations that are intriguing to them. As a volunteer, you may have the opportunity to work in various areas of a business, giving you a taste of the day-to-day requirements involved.
By extending yourself to others, no strings attached, you’ll find that others want to help and support you in some way. You’ll expand your network of people who might lead you to your passion.
11. Improving Your Skills
While you’re waiting to figure out your passion in life, do something to expand your existing skills or to become more educated.
Think about getting an advanced degree or taking continuing education classes in your field. Or work on an entirely different degree that can help you transition to another field altogether.
The return on your investment for an advanced degree can well make up for the expense and time involved in attaining it.
If you’re not sure you want an advanced degree in your current field, consider a Masters in Communication Leadership, making you invaluable in any career in which proven leadership qualities and communication expertise are highly valued.
You might be interested in venturing out on your own, so an MBA in entrepreneurship will give you expertise for starting, building, or advising new business ventures
How this passion example helps your search: Whether you take masters courses at a university or online, you’ll encounter other students from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds that might interest you.
Also, you’ll interact with numerous professionals who are successful in their careers who can mentor and advise you.
You’ll learn from professors who are often industry leaders and can provide real-world knowledge and valuable networking opportunities.
12. The Life You Want
You might not be able to think of anything in your life that you feel passionate about. Maybe, for too long, your days have revolved around work, meals, and evening entertainment. And you don’t feel passionate about any of those things.
So, why not mix it up by visualizing the life you want and by adding something from that vision to your daily life? Let something in your daily routine remind you of where you want to be — and get you a little closer to that.
Maybe you’ll create a vision board. And if you enjoy making it, you could even host vision board parties for friends and family.
It also helps to keep a journal where you can sort out your thoughts and make sense of what you’re feeling about your life. It’s easy to look for escapes and rely on those every day.
How this passion example helps your search: You’ll get closer to the life you want if you allow yourself to articulate what that is.
The more time you spend clarifying that vision, the more excited you’ll get about the direction of your life, and the more likely you are to take action every day to make things happen.
13. Nature and the Environment
If you love spending time in nature, and you’re motivated to give of your time, talent, or treasure (or all three) toward conservation efforts and sustainable energy production, this is an excellent outlet for your creative energy.
A simple internet search can lead you to a number of conservation groups and environmentalist activists whose efforts you might want to support or even join.
Or if you’d rather, you could simply spend more time out in nature, where you might find inspiration for your next passion project.
If you’re already someone who loves spending time in the outdoors — camping, hiking, or just taking long walks — you have the perfect excuse to spend more time with something that restores you and reminds you of what you love.
If you’re not outdoorsy, you can still benefit from more time in nature. And you can still take action to protect the environment and its natural resources.
How this passion example helps your search: Time spent mindfully in nature can make you more aware of what’s important to you and what you’re grateful for.
So, even if enjoying and defending nature isn’t at the top of your list, being passionate about nature — at least for a little while — can yield lasting benefits.
If you feel compelled to work for the correction of the injustices in your world, you have that drive for a reason. In some way, you’re uniquely qualified to work on behalf of justice for all — particularly those marginalized by society and its laws and institutions.
You feel a pull, and your experience up ‘til now has only strengthened it. You don’t see yourself as a savior or expect the work to be easy or even gratifying. But you do expect to make a difference, even if it’s the last thing you do.
It’s not an easy path. And maybe few people will take you seriously. But that hasn’t stopped you yet.
How this passion example helps your search: When you’re working to alleviate the sufferings of others or to fight alongside them for justice, you see more clearly what’s most important — in your life and in theirs.
Don’t be surprised if the way you live your daily life changes because of the work you do. Taking real risks to help others get justice makes it harder to spare any space or energy for petty disagreements or things that don’t make life better.
And without the clutter, you see more clearly where your passion lies.
15. Animals and Pets
If you love animals and enjoy spending time with them, you might love spending some time every week volunteering at an animal shelter. Or you could help out a local farmer who needs help tending the animals.
You could also volunteer to provide foster care to a rescue animal. It’s not a commitment to take lightly, but the energy and affection of an abandoned pet might be as healing for you as your care and attention are for them.
Along with donating to your favorite animal charities, you might also find a purpose in fighting for animal rights, training dogs for support roles or for search and rescue, or simply helping new pet owners properly socialize and train their animals.
How this passion example helps your search: Spending time with animals can be therapeutic in itself. The better acquainted you become with each animal’s behavior, personality, and mannerisms, the easier it is to know what they need from you.
It’s a training in nonverbal communication. And while it can often be frustrating, it has a way of revealing your own personality (as well as the limits of your temper).
And the better you know yourself, the more clearly you see what you care about most.
If part of you has always wanted to start your own business, entrepreneurship has much to teach you, if you’re willing to take the risks. And for many business ideas, you don’t need thousands of dollars to get started.
Consider what you’re good at, what you enjoy, and what the world needs (more of). Then find a novel way to create the thing or to render the service and ensure each customer or client has a memorable experience they’ll want to recommend to others.
You can find plenty of books and courses on starting a business. Pick one and see where it leads you.
How this passion example helps your search: Starting a business involves the risk of loss, as well as other mishaps that represent more of a social cost than a financial one. Lose someone’s trust, and they’re not likely to do any kind of business with you again.
But even if you learn some painful lessons as a business owner, you’ll learn more about yourself and your personal values, which are essential to establishing a brand that will attract your ideal customers.
And you’re likely to have some passions in common with them.
17. Faith or Spiritual Beliefs
Whatever you believe about the meaning of life, the universe, and everything, you probably feel more deeply invested in some beliefs than in others. Yet, as you grow in knowledge and experience, you’re likely to question things you once took for granted.
However, you may find that certain spiritual practices make it easier for you to make sense of each day’s irritations, challenges, and synchronicities.
Your beliefs might help you see the bigger picture behind each day’s disappointments and surprises, as well as your daily routine and everything that threatens to disrupt it.
As long as you don’t use your beliefs to violate the rights of others, your passionate, respectful, and articulate defense of those beliefs can help open minds to different perspectives.
How this passion example helps your search: Exploring what you believe and learning how to articulate it for others makes it hard to ignore what’s most important to you.
Plus, your willingness to question beliefs and teachings makes it much more likely that you’ll identify the core values critical to your self-knowledge and personal development.
All the more reason to do some soul searching — ideally with a journal handy.
18. Your Family
You can easily take them for granted. Sometimes you argue with them or say things to them you later regret. Where better to put your passion energy than toward your family — the people you love the most and whose happiness is key to your own?
So what does it mean to be passionate about your family? It means . . .
- Being fully present with them when you are talking with them.
- Making more time to engage with each of them individually and as a group.
- Knowing your family values and doing your best to honor them.
- Showing up when they need you.
- Finding ways to strengthen your family bond.
- Engaging in rituals and traditions that bring you together.
How this passion example helps your search: Your family is the centerpiece of your life, and if things are out of balance with them, it impacts everything you do.
The strength of your family bond supports you emotionally as you strive to create the life you want for yourself and them. Your closeness and care for your family members help you make choices and decisions in everyone’s best interest.
19. Your Mental Health
If you are suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, or any other mental health challenge, and you haven’t dealt with it, now is the time to get passionate about improving your mental health.
It’s hard to feel passionate about anything when you are suffering emotionally. However, you won’t have the emotional bandwidth to do anything you love if you don’t tackle the issues holding you back.
Use any emotional energy you can muster to prioritize getting better. Start by going to a doctor to ensure you don’t have a physical issue causing the mental one. Meet with a counselor to discuss your feelings and learn coping strategies. Be diligent about taking any medications your doctor prescribes for you.
How this passion example helps your search: It’s self-evident that being mentally healthy is necessary to feel excited and engaged in anything. If your energy is low, you won’t be in the frame of mind to search for your passion — much less feel passionate about it.
The more committed you are to your mental health, the better you’ll feel about everything in life. You’ll have more clarity and energy to pursue any endeavor.
How much time have you spent exploring and engaging in your community and the activities available to you? Getting involved in your local community can open up a world of ideas and opportunities for you.
You might consider. . .
- Joining the school board or Chamber of Commerce.
- Attending local Meet-Ups in your area.
- Volunteering in the library, local non-profit, or community event.
- Hosting a study group, clean-up project, or bake sale.
- Coaching a youth sports team.
- Teaching at the parks and recreation center.
How this passion example helps your search: Not only can you explore areas of interest in your community, but also you will meet a host of new people who might lead you to new career opportunities or expose you to other interests you haven’t considered.
21. Writing a Book
You don’t have to be an exceptional writer or expert to write a book. You can write a book just for yourself or your family. Or you might use book-writing as a way to explore an interest or skill you possess.
You can use a self-published book as a way to share your ideas and knowledge with others and add to your credibility in your field.
Come up with a few ideas for your book topic. Explore each one to see how easily it is to flesh out the information. Then outline your book and start writing. The process itself will be fun and fascintating.
How this passion example helps your search: Writing a book about something that interests you is the perfect way to explore that something more deeply. Your research may require you to interview or talk to people who have this passion.
You’ll discover elements of your interest that you didn’t previously know about through this research. As you write, you become more of an expert and make yourself more marketable to anyone who might want to hire you.
How to Hone Your List of Passions
Are you ready to start developing your own list of passions that might eventually become a career or hobby?
You probably know some of the interests and endeavors you already feel passionate about, and creating your list will help you clarify your next steps.
Here’s how to get started:
- Grab a pen and paper, and start writing down every idea you can think of — even if it seems outlandish or undoable. Just conduct a brain dump of all of your ideas.
- Once you’ve exhausted all of your ideas and put them on paper, go back and circle your top five to ten ideas.
- Next, grab a sheet of paper for each idea, and write it at the top of the page.
- Begin researching the passion idea, making notes on the paper about the skills involved, any educational requirements, and (if it’s a passion that can become a career) the salary potential. Do this for each of your top passions.
- Now go back and refine your list again, looking at the ideas that seem to intrigue you the most. Separate the papers for these finalists.
- Your next task is to write goals and action steps for each of these ideas. What is the bigger picture you want for this passion (a career, a side-gig, a hobby)? What are the specific steps you need to take to reach this goal?
- Finally, make a decision about the passion that seems to fit best into your life, your finances, and your overall goals.
Once you refine your list to your top idea, you may want to volunteer or experiment with the idea before investing too much time and money.
You can shadow someone who is already engaged in this passion, set up meetings to talk with people who do this thing or take a part-time job in the field.
Spending some time testing the water before you jump in head first.
What are you passionate about?
Have you wondered what to say when asked what you are passionate about? If so, we hope this post helped you on your journey to find your life passion.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, don’t allow the uncertainty and confusion to bring you down. Try to view this time as an adventure and enjoy the process.
In addition to trying the activities listed in this post, take a look at the things people are passionate about in your circle of family and friends. Ask them questions to learn what led them to their passions. Pick their brains for ideas and actions to help you move forward.
In the meantime, do your best to love what you are doing now. Make it a point to try something new every month.
Remain upbeat and positive with the assurance that your passion is waiting for you.